If you are considering postgraduate dental education, we at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, NC, would be honored to have you consider our General Practice Residency (GPR) Program.
We have state-of-the-art dental health centers, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), in-clinic digital scanners, in-house milling, soft tissue laser, in-house information technology support, a world-class simulation center, teleconference capabilities, and a medical library staff dedicated to resident and faculty needs. We also provide care in public schools and under general anesthesia in nearby hospital and surgery center facilities.
Our program's emphasis is on comprehensive dentistry including treatment planning and sequencing of complex restorative
cases, implantology, periodontology, rotary endodontics, advanced restorative dentistry, and removable
prosthodontics. Residents will experience rotations in the hospital environment and outpatient surgical centers to
include basic anesthesiology, family medicine, and pediatric dentistry. Residents will receive
clinical and didactic instructions from visiting dental specialists in oral surgery, endodontics, pedodontics,
periodontics, orthodontics, implantology, and other areas of interest.
Asheville, NC, has named as one of the most desirable places in the country to live,
work, and play. Our climate is reasonably mild year-round and outdoor activities abound. Yes, we will give you some
We hope you will consider the MAHEC General Practice Residency Program as a place to further your dental education.
We are user friendly. Please contact us with any questions you may have or to arrange a tour of our campus.
Excellence: We deliver quality activities and services that our customers and partners value.
Diversity: We promote equity and inclusivity.
Integrity: We act with fairness, transparency, and the highest level of ethics.
Collaboration: We value partnerships and support interprofessional approaches.
Improvement: We continuously innovate and improve our work.
Civility: We treat all people with respect and kindness, all the time.
Inclusivity: We value the contribution of people different than ourselves and the merits of an
organization that reflects differences in our teams and our community.
Empowerment: We value engagement, commitment, and ownership of MAHEC’s mission, work, and
MAHEC is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive place to work, learn, and receive care. We actively recruit physicians, staff, and students from underrepresented minorities, and we strive to implement policies and procedures that value and support diverse backgrounds and experiences. MAHEC does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, spiritual practice, geography, disability, or age.
This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,656,886 with 0 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.
Advanced education programs in general practice residency are designed to provide training
beyond the level of pre-doctoral education in oral healthcare, using applied basic and behavioral sciences.
Education in these programs is based on the concept that oral health is an integral and interactive part of total
health. MAHEC’s residency training is designed to expand the scope and depth of the graduates’ knowledge and skills
to enable them to provide comprehensive oral healthcare to a wide range of population groups. A private practice
environment is maintained to assist residents in the transition from academics to "real world" dentistry.
Formal Goals and Objectives
Provide comprehensive general dental care and resident education that is beyond the levels achieved as an
undergraduate in order to provide care for healthy patients and those with complex medical conditions; utilizing all phases of
dentistry to provide that care.
Learn to make fundamentally sound decisions in assessing, diagnosing and planning treatment for both routine and
complex cases; incorporating health promotion and staff management principles.
Act as a primary dental care provider; coordinating the services of dental specialists and other healthcare specialists in the overall care of the patient; coordinating the services
of dental specialists and other healthcare specialists in the overall care of the patient.
Function in a hospital environment and communicate effectively within interdisciplinary healthcare teams.
Understand oral healthcare needs of the community and engage in community service, teaching, and continuing
Demonstrate enhanced skills in continual self-assessment and professional improvement. Demonstrate the
application and principles of ethical reasoning, decision making, and professional responsibilities.
Definition of Community Service: The dental residents will have an opportunity to contribute to the
oral health of the underserved and elderly citizens of Western North Carolina through rotations at the MAHEC Dental
Health Center rural clinical site(s).
Specific Program Objectives
Act as Primary Healthcare Provider Assess, diagnose and plan for
the provision of multidisciplinary oral healthcare for a wide variety of patients including patients with disabilities. Manage the delivery of patient-focused oral healthcare.
Operative Dentistry Understand properties and indications for
dental materials. Develop skills in restoring a variety of dental preparations. Develop skills in working
with a dental assistant.
Replacement of Teeth Develop skills in treatment planning the
partially and fully edentulous patient. Understand the principles of utilizing various modalities in
restoring the partially edentulous arch, including implants. Develop skills to effectively communicate with
dental laboratory technicians.
Periodontal Therapy Diagnose and develop treatment plan based on periodontal
status. Diagnose and treat mild to moderate periodontal disease using non-surgical methods, evaluate the
results of periodontal treatment. Manage advanced periodontal disease and periodontal maintenance.
Endodontic Therapy Gain exposure to current concepts in pulpal therapy
and modalities of treatment. Diagnose and treat pain of pulpal origin by performing non-surgical endodontic
therapy in the primary and permanent dentition.
Oral Surgery Understand indications for simple and surgical
extractions. Perform simple and surgical extractions. If situation presents, perform soft tissue biopsies.
Perform simple pre-prosthetic surgeries. Manage patients admitted to hospital by medical colleagues as it
relates to providing oral surgery care as needed in an OR setting.
Dental Emergencies Evaluate and treat patients with dental
emergencies, including post-operative complications from dental treatment, pain, infection and/or trauma.
Pain and Anxiety Control Understand basics of local anesthesia.
Understand gradients of enteral sedation. Provide OCS as cases present. Provide nitrous oxide sedation on a
Management of Medical Emergencies Recognize, diagnose and provide
initial management for medical emergencies that may occur in the dental office.
Management of Implants Demonstrate knowledge of dental implant
indications. Perform dental implant surgeries and perform dental implant restorations as cases present.
Management of Oral Mucosal Diseases Diagnose and offer treatment
and/or referral for various oral lesions.
Management of Temporomandibular Disorders Determine working
diagnosis and treatment and/or referral based on EBD.
Medical Risk Assessment Recognize deviations for optimal health
status that may affect dental management. Determine ASA Status on dental patients.
Practice Management Apply the principles of practice management to
everyday dental practice.
Ethics Apply the principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision
making, and professional responsibility as they pertain to patient care and practice management.
What makes the MAHEC GPR Program so special?
"Able to get experience in both the hospital setting and full-time
clinic. Amazing location/facilities."
— Justin Mallette C/O 2015
"MAHEC is very unique and offers a variety of clinical experiences. It
has a private practice feel at its core, but offers some hospital
experience as well with being on call at Mission for dental emergencies
and having privileges in the operating room for medically complex
patients. Dr. Harrison, a local Periodontist, offers a wealth of
knowledge when available to help with implant therapy and other surgical
and periodontal procedures. CAD/CAM, 3-D printing of surgical guides,
and intra-oral scanning are also utilized frequently."
— Jake Ayers C/O 2021
"This residency gives you the unique ability to learn and practice a
higher level of dentistry in a practice-type setting. You get extra
experience with the 'bread and butter' part of general dentistry while
also being able to treat more complex cases that you get to dive into
with your instructors. One of my favorite parts of the program was the
continuing education that was provided in a small group setting. Also,
the mountain views at MAHEC aren't bad!"
— Jess Peele C/O 2016
"The amount of clinical experience you walk away with from MAHEC is
amazing. It really does prepare you for starting up a schedule in a new
office. It also helps to have that year of troubleshooting when things
go wrong with amazing faculty that has seen and done so much."
— Bridget Swope C/O 2019
What impressed you about MAHEC when you interviewed with the
"Initially, I was mostly impressed with the facilities. It is in a great
location for patients and staff and is a new, state-of-the-art clinic
with great resources and beautiful mountain views. Throughout the
interview process, I was very encouraged by the attendings'
personalities, knowledge, and vision for MAHEC. The program offers the
chance to grow in several ways, typically not available in a dental
— Jake Ayers C/O 2021
"The facilities at MAHEC were the best I saw in all of my interviews. And
the location is phenomenal. Asheville is such a great city!"
— Bridget Swope C/O 2019
What kind of relationship do the faculty have with
"When I was there, it was a very small group. We had Dr. Coryell and
Oliver—felt like a family."
— Justin Mallette C/O 2015
"The faculty wants each resident to grow as a clinician as much as
possible in the 12-month span. Whatever your career aspirations are,
they want to help prepare you well. They are always available for advice
or help when needed, but want you to become confident and independent.
Overall, it is a very positive environment."
— Jake Ayers C/O 2021
"They are definitely going to challenge you to think outside the box and
try to solve issues on your own, but they will always be there to help
you out when you need it."
— Bridget Swope C/O 2019
What is the most challenging part of residency? What support
systems are in place for the residents?
"The most challenging part is the pace of the schedule, which is a good
problem to have. It's an adjustment to balance daily responsibilities,
the amount of procedures, hygiene checks, being on call, etc., but it
better prepares you for private practice and grows your clinical skills
at an expedited rate. The co-residents and faculty are there to support
you and learn from whenever needed, in and outside of the clinic."
— Jake Ayers C/O 2021
"The most challenging part of residency was learning to keep to my
schedule and not run over. There are overflow rooms and extra assistants
to help when this happens. The other residents are also amaxing and will
help numb patients for you when you are finishing up with your other
— Bridget Swope C/O 2019
How did MAHEC prepare you for your current job?
"I felt like, when I started private practice, I was a leg up from my
peers. I was able to start with a level of speed and confidence that
allowed me to hit the ground running—not only putting my patients at
ease, but also allowing me to be more productive and profitable."
— Jess Peele C/O 2016
"MAHEC prepared me for my current job in several ways: expounding on
skills and topics that dental school didn't have enough time to cover in
as much depth as I would have liked, boosting my time management skills
(especially in terms of figuring out how to most efficiently run my
procedures and fit in checking hygiene), increasing my confidence as a
provider, and giving me new ways to think about treatments/procedures. I
learned a lot from the directors of the program, but also from my
co-residents. Procedures I may have done once or twice in dental school,
I had the opportunity to become proficient at during residency. I didn't
fully realize how well MAHEC had prepared me until my office added a new
grad who had not done a residency—the difference was incredible! I am
grateful every day that I did the MAHEC GPR."
— Susan Taunton C/O 2014
"MAHEC helped me feel more confident in my dental skills. This allowed me
to feel confident when I would start a new procedure I hadn't done
before because I was very comfortable in my fundamentals of dentistry.
It also really helped me learn time management."
— Bridget Swope C/O 2019
How does MAHEC serve the diverse community of Asheville?
"MAHEC is one of the only dental medicaid providers in the Asheville
area. They also do a wonderful job at the satellite clinic helping the
underserved populations of Western North Carolina."
— Bridget Swope C/O 2019
The General Practice Residency (GPR) Program consists of 12 months of advanced dental education in clinical dentistry and is conducted primarily
within a private practice environment but also with hospital experience at Mission Hospital. An optional second year
may be available.
The program begins July 1st and concludes June 30th of the following year. Residents are required to come two weeks
in June for organizational and program orientations for which they are financially compensated.
MAHEC Dental Health Center
Residents spend approximately 35 weeks of their year at the Dental Health Center. The majority of time is spent
providing hands-on comprehensive patient treatment. This time is spread out during the entire year to assure
continuity of care. During this time residents gain a wide variety of experiences by providing complex dental
treatment for primarily ambulatory patients. Opportunities exist for providing comprehensive dental care, including
fixed and removable prosthodontics, implant restoration, rotary endodontics, periodontics, implant placement, oral
surgery, and advanced operative dentistry. Residents also gain extensive experience in management of patients with
complex medical conditions and those with special needs.
During this rotation, residents actively participate at Mission Hospital through the Department of Anesthesiology.
Residents will also receive simulated experiences at the MAHEC Simulation Center. Residents receive experience in
physical evaluation of the pre-anesthetic patient, starting and maintaining intravenous lines, oral and/or nasal
intubation, monitoring vital signs, maintaining optimum airways, recognizing potential medical emergency situations
related to anesthesia, utilizing various equipment/instrumentation for monitoring the anesthetized patient, and
The residents will be assigned to a block rotation in the inpatient Family Practice Service and outpatient Family Health Center
with a PGY 2 and/or PGY 3 resident physician in the Family Medicine Asheville Residency Program.
Columbus Community Rotation
The residents will participate in providing dental care to a community underserved by dental care resources at our rural health
community-based clinic, MAHEC Dental Health Center at Columbus located in Polk County. During this time, they will
perform both comprehensive and emergency treatment for patients of all ages.
During this rotation, residents may observe, assist, or perform dental procedures on pediatric and IDD patients under
general anesthesia and/or in a community-based setting through MAHEC’s school-based program. They will also participate in pre-surgical assessment and post-surgical follow-up care for patients seen in the operating room.
The residents receive a formal course in physical diagnosis as well as selected courses during the year at discretion
of the residency director. Approximately 100 hours of didactic lecture are given in all specialties of dentistry as
well as oral medicine, dental materials, practice management, and infection control. Residents are eligible to
attend all MAHEC sponsored dental continuing education programs as well as relevant conferences at Mission Hospital,
with director approval.
I’m honored to practice oral medicine here at MAHEC where I can make a positive impact serving the community while also training dentists. My clinical focus and research interests are dental treatment for oral lesions, salivary gland disorders, facial pain, and medically complex patients and undergoing cancer therapy (pre and post treatment).
I was born and raised in Coahuila in northern Mexico not far from Texas. After six years of training, I obtained my doctor in dental surgery degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. During my final year, I practiced dentistry in underserved rural communities while doing research on dental hygiene and systemic health conditions related to oral health including diabetes in children, rheumatoid arthritis, and gastric cancer.
After finishing my dental studies, I received a scholarship from the Government of Mexico to study abroad and obtained my masters in clinical research at the University of California, San Francisco, where I studied oral health in pediatric patients and those with diabetes. After completing my studies, I did both my general practice and oral medicine residencies at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.
Hey there!! I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky…the land of great college basketball and thoroughbred horse racing! It was there, at the University of Kentucky, that I earned my Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees. Following my formal dental education, I completed a two-year general practice residency in dentistry at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine / North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC.
Immediately after residency, I entered private practice in Newport News, VA, and also taught at the Medical College of Virginia’s School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA. After a few years, I returned as faculty at Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s department of dentistry.
My next career move was to open my own dental practice, near my hometown, in Richmond, Kentucky. I spent fifteen years there as a solo business owner and practitioner. I was very active in the community and my church.
I have always loved the mountains and great scenery with fun things to do so in 2015 my family moved to Asheville. The area matches my desires in more ways than one. I joined MAHEC dental faculty in 2015, and enjoy a balance of patient care and teaching, where I can share my knowledge and experiences with younger dentists.
I am married and have three boys. I enjoy gardening, photography, hiking, outdoor grilling, working out, and my hot tub!!
Dr. Gonzalez-Espinoza was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador, Central America. He attended dental school at Universidad Evangelica de El Salvador. He completed an International program in Prosthodontics at New York University, NY, where he discovered the topic of his passion: implant dentistry. He completed a Master’s in Science in Periodontology program in Munster, Germany, in 2017.
In 2011, he joined the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA, as an Assistant Professor, where he became Course Director for Preclinical Implant Dentistry and a Clinical Faculty member of both the surgical and restorative teams for implant services working in the Preventative and Restorative Departments of Oral Surgery, a position he held for 12 years until he decided to join MAHEC.
He is a Fellow of the ITI (International Team for Implantology) and is passionate about mentoring others to advance in the implant field.
I am excited to be a Community Faculty member for the incredible staff of the MAHEC team.
I was born in Asheville (rare these days), went to Asheville High School before enrolling at UNC - Chapel Hill for my undergraduate course work. During my last college years I worked part time at the research lab in Vascular Surgery. In 1975 I started Dental School at the UNC School of Dentistry and finished in 1979. I began practice in Asheville as an associate dentist and four years later started my own practice here eventually ending up with a staff of eighteen with three dentists. I was and am extremely proud of what we accomplished. The practice is as strong now as it ever was.
After more than twenty years in practice I fulfilled a dream and began teaching in the AEGD Residency at the UNC School of Dentistry. I covered clinic and taught the practice management curriculum to all of the residents. Fifteen years later I retired as we were starting to have grandchildren. This was a blessing I wasn’t going to miss.
My lifetime travel path has been: Asheville, Chapel Hill, Asheville, Chapel Hill and then back to Asheville. As you can tell I love to branch out! I have two incredible daughters with four grandchildren (soon to be five). I have been married to my wife Mary for forty six years after meeting and dating in high school. So here we are. Now I can do what I thoroughly enjoy without leaving town. I was elated when the opportunity came along.
In my spare time I enjoy being with my family, keeping my grandkids, playing golf, fishing with lifetime friends and enjoying all life has to offer.
Welcome to our faculty bio Page! I am the Chair of everything Oral Health here at MAHEC, and I am the first UNC-appointed Associate Professor to run this department. It’s an exciting position that allows me to create and improve how we treat folks in Western NC and how we educate the future dental practitioners for this region.
I’m a graduate of UNC School of Dentistry. After graduation with honors I completed a residency and fellowship that trained me in hospital work. I spent the next two decades with Mission Hospitals of WNC developing an OR referral practice as well as a mobile dental practice that provided care to the far-flung communities of Western North Carolina. Creating such an unusual approach to care required working with the communities, schools, hospitals, and other agencies, even the State of North Carolina, to make things happen. Our practice covered a 2 1/2-hour radius throughout the region - it was a wonderful growth experience!
Next, I was recruited to East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine where I helped run one of their Learning Centers and teach dental students and residents in Spruce Pine NC. From there I took this position at MAHEC, and am now fully appreciating how the strength and vision of this organization can enable good new ideas to become realities as we create new and better ways to bring people and the care they need together.
My professional focus is operating room full-mouth rehabilitation, care for IDD folks, and collaboration to create and improve oral healthcare in new and better ways.
When not working at MAHEC, I travel (55 countries and counting), cook, sing, enjoy my dog and fire pit, and dive to the great restaurants, hikes, and stuff this region has to offer. I am a native, so I enjoy both my family and my history as well as the great scene Asheville has become!
Hi, everyone! I am honored and excited to be continuing my journey with the MAHEC dental team!
I was born and raised on the eastern side of the state in Greenville, NC. I completed my undergraduate education in economics at UNC-Chapel Hill and Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at ECU School of Dental Medicine. As a fourth year dental student, I rotated through two community service learning centers in Western NC: Sylva and Spruce Pine. I fell in love with the mountains in NC and continued my dental education at the MAHEC general practice residency. I am excited to stay with MAHEC as an adjunct faculty member to share experiences while teaching and continuing to learn with my fellow colleagues in the dental profession.
During my days off from dentistry, I love spending time with family and friends and traveling.
I am a North Carolinian through and through! I was born and raised in Raleigh and attended college and dental school at UNC-Chapel Hill. I was fortunate enough to do my General Practice Residency at MAHEC in 2011-2012….and to get married to my husband Chris who is also a dentist and MAHEC graduate. We moved away for a few years after residency but missed the mountains and soon returned to western North Carolina to stay.
I truly enjoy all aspects of general dentistry and my heart is in helping people and treating patients like family. My work in private practice, dental education, and public health is a unique blend and has made me a better dentist, educator, and person. I am very active in continuing education and hold leadership positions in the Buncombe County Dental Society and the North Carolina Academy of General Dentistry. When I am not working I am soaking up quality time with our young daughter and our labradoodle Flossy who is more human than dog!
Having finally moved to WNC three years ago from southwest Michigan, after visiting my wife Pat’s parents here in Asheville for over 30 years, it’s an honor to be joining the dental faculty and outstanding team here at MAHEC!
I received my Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1983. Previous to that, I graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids with a Bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish, and elementary teaching certification. I served in the US Navy for four years during the Vietnam War and then taught middle school science and Spanish prior to entering dental school.
I established my dental practice in 1983 in a small town in southwest Michigan, not too far from where I grew up. Over the course of 32 years, the practice grew to seven operatories with two full-time dentists and three hygienists. In preparation for a transition to a new dentist-owner, we embarked on a major facility upgrade and expansion about eight years beforehand, incorporating many technological features to better serve our patients. Our planning paid off, and we were abundantly blessed with the addition of a talented young associate who “overlapped” for a couple of years before purchasing our practice in 2015.
Over my years in private practice, I attended to the dental needs of the many physically and mentally impaired citizens in our rural county, and provided access to dental care for children in the Healthy Kids program. I was able to use my proficiency in Spanish to serve the local Spanish-speaking community. We provided preventive dental education to children in the local schools and offered dental screenings for kids coming into kindergarten. In 2007 and 2010, Pat and I and our hygienists brought week-long dental clinics to a small village in El Salvador, as part of the sister parish initiative through our church.
Pat and I love living here in the mountains with our two pooches who love hiking with us. The weather is better than Michigan’s and we get to enjoy the outdoors so much more! Additionally, I enjoy improving my skills in watercolor painting, reading, and travel. Serving as part-time faculty in the MAHEC Dental Health Center and Center for Advanced Training, and sharing my expertise from my many years as a solo practitioner, is a perfect post-retirement career!
It is not true, only a rumor, that my dental texts were chiseled on stone tablets, although I have had the pleasure of being involved in dentistry for over fifty years.
A brief overview of my educational background begins with undergraduate studies at the University of Miami, then on to the University of Tennessee College of Dental Medicine. I was a commissioned Naval Officer and subsequently worked in public health serving migrant labor camps on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I entered private practice in general dentistry in Miami, Florida next and continued for the next thirty-eight years.
I had the privilege of serving as a Dental Board Examiner for the state of Florida, as well as an Adex (formerly NERB) National Board Examiner. After leaving private practice I was most fortunate to begin a new career in teaching at Nova Southeastern College of Dental Medicine as an Assistant Professor in Clinical Dentistry. After five years, I went on to Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine where I served as a Clinic Care Coordinator for three years.
I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to join the excellent MAHEC Dental Team. I have found this to be a wonderful addition to my lifelong career in dentistry.
Dentistry has allowed me so many wonderful life experiences-travel, boating, flying, skiing, and scuba diving to name a few. Spending time with my family tops the list. My wife Dana and I have four children, eight grandchildren, and Daisie, the wonder dog!
I am a Michigander through and through. I grew up alongside Lake Michigan in the wonderful city of Holland, and it was there I completed my undergraduate education at Hope College where I was awarded a B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Most recently, I completed my predoctoral dental education at Detroit Mercy Dental and was presented with my D.D.S. in May of 2022.
While at Hope College, I was a 4-year varsity baseball player, so watching baseball is one of my all-time favorite past-times. As a washed-up collegiate athlete, I also enjoy playing golf (poorly) and tennis, while also trying new bourbons. I am happily married to my beautiful wife Olivia who I met while attending Hope College, and we have been married since 2019. Olivia and I are beyond excited to break out of the Michigan bubble and experience the exciting city of Asheville, NC to the fullest!
Hello! My name is Sierra Cooper and I was born and raised in South Burlington, Vermont. After high school, I attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I then returned to the northeast for dental school at Boston University, where I earned my Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree in May 2022. During my college years, I had the opportunity to visit Asheville and immediately fell in love, so naturally, I had to come back and continue my professional journey here!
When I’m not in the dental clinic, you can usually find me trying out a new recipe, dancing to K-pop, and taking nature walks for the sole purpose of finding a dog to pet.
I can’t wait to explore more of Asheville and feel very fortunate to work with MAHEC to serve the population of western North Carolina.
Hey everyone! My name is Hyunseo and I am originally from Ormond Beach, FL. I attended Barnard College in NYC where I received my B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior in 2018. I returned to sunny Florida to attend the University of Florida College of Dentistry and graduated in 2022. I am now excited to spend my residency working with and serving the community of western North Carolina.
In my free time, I enjoy anything nature related and staying active. During my indoor days, I love to read, cook/bake, and create some gouache paintings. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the wonderful MAHEC team and look forward to making Asheville my home!
Hello everyone, my name is Corey Mavromatis and I grew up in Virginia Beach, Va. You could say dentistry runs in my family… My father and brother are both dentists, and my mother is a dental hygienist! I played lacrosse at Hampden-Sydney College while studying for a degree in Biology. After graduating, I moved to Charleston, SC where I earned a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina. The following year I was accepted into MUSC’s dental program and graduated with a Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree in May 2022. I enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, whether it be hiking, gardening, golfing, or running. I am excited about the opportunity to serve the patients of Western North Carolina and to explore everything Asheville has to offer!
Hello! My name is Nicolas Mejio. I was born in Medellin, Colombia and moved to Florida when I was 7 years old. I spent 4 years in Gainesville, FL while attending the University of Florida, where I received my Bachelors of Science. I then moved Ft. Lauderdale to attend Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. I am excited to be back in the mountains which reminds me of my hometown. I enjoy traveling and seeing new things so I look forward to exploring all the great things Asheville has to offer.
Hey y’all! I grew up in the small town of Loris, SC, but Cherry Grove North Myrtle Beach is where I call home. I graduated from Presbyterian College, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, in 2017 and returned home for a year to be a middle and high school substitute teacher, within the Horry County School’s school district. In 2018, I moved to Charleston, SC to begin my journey at MUSC’s James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, where I graduated with my Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in May of 2022.
When I’m not looking inside of people’s mouths, I love spending time with family and friends, practicing yoga, playing tennis, biking, kayaking, and going to the beach.
Asheville holds a very special place in my family’s hearts because my older sister attended UNCA from 2009 to 2013. I cannot wait to make new memories here, while transitioning from the beach to mountain lifestyle, and getting to serve the western North Carolina community as a part of the MAHEC team!
Hey everyone! My name is Mark VanMarter and I was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. I attended St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY where I received a Bachelors in Biology and ran Track and Field. After that I hopped one city to the west to Buffalo where I received my DDS at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2022. After spending my whole life up north in the snow I’ve decided it’s about time I traveled south to enjoy the warmth!
In my free time I enjoy hiking, golfing, playing guitar, trying new food and spending time with friends and family. I’m very excited to explore Asheville and serve the community of Western North Carolina!
MAHEC Dental Health Center at Asheville
The original dental facility opened its doors in April 2007 on McDowell Street in Asheville. The program moved to MAHEC’s Biltmore campus in August 2013. The Dental Health Center is located in the same building as MAHEC’s family health and internal medicine practices and numerous residency and fellowship programs. MAHEC’s Biltmore campus is also home to MAHEC Ob/Gyn Specialists, MAHEC Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness, a state-of-the-art medical simulation center, and UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC—an interdisciplinary academic health center with programs affiliated with UNC’s top-ranked schools of medicine, pharmacy, public health, and dentistry.
The Dental Health Center space offers a large waiting area as well as digital displays to help us communicate information, tips, and timely reminders for patients while they wait. Our treatment rooms provide the opportunity for comprehensive care for patients including cosmetic fillings, crowns and veneers, reconstructive full mouth dentistry, precision partial dentures, custom dentures, non-surgical and surgical treatment for periodontal (gum) disease, oral surgery, and teeth whitening. There is also a new resident work room, a state-of-the-art training room, and large conference room that have all been redesigned to provide for an improved experience for our patients, faculty, residents, and staff.
MAHEC Dental Health Center at Columbus
In 2016, MAHEC, St. Luke’s Hospital, Isothermal Community College, and UNC Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry formed a partnership to address the shortage of primary care and oral healthcare providers in Polk and Rutherford counties where emergency department visits for dental complaints and non-urgent routine healthcare needs were on the rise. Statewide, the rate of emergency department visits for dental needs is twice the national average and even higher in rural areas like Western North Carolina.
MAHEC renovated an office building on the campus of St. Luke’s Hospital to support state-of-the-art family medicine and general dentistry practices. This collaborative teaching site is home to MAHEC Dental Health Center at Columbus and Foothills Medical Associates, a primary care practice affiliated with St. Luke’s Hospital. MAHEC’s dental practice is staffed by general practitioners, residents, and rural oral health scholars from UNC Adams School of Dentistry. Dental assisting students from Isothermal Community College use MAHEC’s classroom and lab space and participate in clinical training at MAHEC’s dental practices in Columbus and Asheville. Foothills Medical Associates trains medical and pharmacy students from UNC's Asheville campuses in addition to other health professions learners, making this a robust teaching site that provides numerous opportunities for learners of all kinds to practice interprofessional team-based care.
MAHEC residents train at Mission Hospital, a part of the Mission Health system and a regional referral center for 16 counties in Western North Carolina and parts of TN, SC, WV, and VA. The medical staff is comprised of approximately 650 physicians, with nearly all subspecialties available. Mission is an 815-bed hospital, featuring state-of-the-art facilities. The Emergency Department at Mission averages over 95,000 patient visits per year.
In 2020, Mission Hospital was named North Carolina's Best Hospital by Business North Carolina; it is one of the busiest hospitals in the state. Read more about Mission’s various accolades here.
Applicants must be a graduate of a fully accredited North American Dental school. Applicants must be eligible to obtain a state dental license prior to starting residency. All application forms must be received by October 1st for admission in July.
Resident selection is based on the following criteria:
Class standing and GPA
Letters of recommendation
Participation in the PASS application program is mandatory. In order to meet the October 1st application deadline, completed PASS documents should be submitted to the PASS office no later than September 20th of the year preceding the year for which the applicant is applying.
As an institution of higher education and in the spirit of its policies of equal employment opportunity, MAHEC hereby reaffirms its policy of equal educational opportunity. All applicants for admissions will be considered without regard to an applicant’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, natural origin, disability unrelated to program performance, disabled veteran status, or Vietnam veteran status.
New resident dentists are required to participate in all orientation activities prior to July 1st. Financial compensation will be provided for this time. The orientation schedule will be sent to the resident dentist by the program director or their designee.
Additional application requirements that must be submitted to MAHEC:
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Copy of state dental license (if candidate has a current one)
We offer a one-day opportunity for students to observe our clinic and meet our residents and faculty. In lieu of an on-site visit, a 30-minute Webex meeting with Dr. Valdez can be arranged.